WRUR 88.5 Different Radio

Michael Black

Radio Program Manager

I was born in Fairmont, West Virginia, and grew up mostly in and around the Rochester area. I got my radio start at WBKT at Brockport High school as a sophomore, and was its station manager in my senior year in high school. I had caught the radio & TV bug. While in high school, I started working for the local commercial station in town (WWBK/WJBT). While attending SUNY Brockport, I helped build WBSU-FM, and started as an intern for WXXI-TV. I started working for WXXI in the broadcast operations area, and eventually became an online television editor. In 1985, I took a position at WHYY in Philadelphia in their engineering department, working primarily as a video editor, but also provided audio support for TV productions and for some radio productions, including NPR's Fresh Air.

In 1988, I took a position at Hobart & William Smith Colleges as station manager for WEOS, and transformed the station into a public radio service serving the Finger Lakes, including laying the ground work for WITH in Ithaca, which is on the air today. This included expanding coverage area, and increasing local programming that in some cases, went national. A lot of students I worked with have gone into the broadcast industry, including Jonas Schwartz, Chris Carlin, Josh Horowitz, and Dana Glaser, to name a few. I even dabbled in on air play-by-play sports, garnering a Media person of the year award from the USILA for lacrosse broadcasts.

In 2007, I rejoined WXXI as the radio program manager, to oversee WXXI-AM and WRUR, and work on new projects, which now include our partnership with HWS with WEOS and helping to launch WITH in Ithaca. I have a passion for public media and new music, and strive to continue to grow public media. 

I have a passion for craft beers, and actively support the local brewing community. I also am a chili-head! Bring the heat!

Ways to Connect

Join us for a Doubleheader concert Friday with Hurray for the Riff Raff and The Districts! 

Typhoon, the 12-piece supergroup from Portland, Oregon, joins us for a live Friday concert  at noon. Getting their big break with a performance on “Late Show with David Letterman” in 2011,

   Typhoon has quickly grown in popularity due to their appropriate and experimentally big-band sound complete with sporadic interjections of harmonization, brass and piano. Since their initial appearance, they've opened for indie rock bands Explosions in the Sky and The Decemberists.

Amy Dickerson

Country music singer and songwriter Suzy Bogguss joins us live for our noon concert on March 21st. The Illinois native released her thirteenth studio record Lucky last month, a collection of Merle Haggard's classic Americana songs rerecorded in a style that is quintessentially Suzy. 

Different Radio has live coverage of SXSW! Join us at WRUR.ORG for live coverage!

http://wrur.org/live-event/live-coverage-sxsw-different-radio

Join us for the our Friday concert this week, Live from World Cafe Live, as War On Drugs performs. 

  Philadelphia space rock heroes The War on Drugs join us live Friday the 14th of March for our weekly live noon concert. The band, led by singer and songwriter Adam Granduciel, is gearing up to release its latest album, Lost in the Dream, which comes out later this month via Secretly Canadian Records. It’s the band’s most expansive work yet, reaching explosive highs and dialing back to mellowed-out lows, with driving anthems like the single “Red Eyes” popping up throughout.

Swing revival stalwarts Roomful of Blues join us live for our Friday concert. 

  Blending traditional blues motifs with big band attitude, Roomful of Blues are five-time Grammy nominees with a discography that reaches back forty years.

Annie Clark, better known to fans by her stage name St. Vincent, joins us for a live Friday concert next Free at Noon. The New York experimental rocker is a master of moods, a stunning arranger and an accomplished guitarist. Her new self-titled album is out on February 24th , and can be heard this week on NPR Music's First Listen.

Singer-songwriter Jonathan Wilson joins us for this week's Live from World Cafe Live Concert. He is credited with reviving the Laurel Canyon sound of the late 60's, both in his work as a solo artist and his collaborations as a producer and guest musician with the likes of Father John Misty, Maria Taylor, Dawes and more. 

   A connecting force in the southern California music scene, Wilson has released four solo albums since the mid-2000's; his most recent outing, Fanfare, came out in October 2013 and featured contributions from David Crosby, Graham Nash, and Jackson Browne.

Marie Planeille

Join us at noon as Malian music collective Tinariwen performs a live midday concert on Friday.

Longtime Milwaukee bandleader Paul Cebar and his group Tomorrow Sound join us for a live midday concert live Friday at noon. 

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